Getting Media Coverage

Getting the media to cover your story is sometimes challenging. The following are some points to keep in mind when approaching journalists:

Explain how the information will benefit the reader, not just what the story is Ask yourself: “So what does that mean to the readers and why is it important to them?”

How to communicate benefits to the person you are pitching the story to:

  • Use the words “you” and “your” as much as possible to personalise / direct the communication
  • Use “picture power” to help them visualize what you are saying
  • Emphasise the value of the story to the reader
  • Be enthusiastic
  • Avoid jargon
  • Keep it simple and short

 

Handling resistance to your pitch:

Listen carefully to the resistance. Don’t interrupt or rush in with an immediate answer/opinion. Instead:

  • Try and translate what is really being said and ask why they feel / think that
  • Is this a real problem?
  • Then deal with the resistance. The more defined the resistance the easier it is to overcome
  • Express benefits clearly
  • Gain agreement and ask for commitment
  • Always be confident
  • Be precise, accurate and factual. If you don’t know the answer, do not lie or ‘muddle through’. Go away and find out
  • Be polite – do not take negative feedback personally
  • Do not overstate your case thinking this will strengthen it. The result is often the opposite so learn when to stop talking
  • Be patient. If at first you don’t succeed, try again
  • Learn when to close. Always follow an objection with a benefit and a close
  • Don’t give up – be strong, be confident, expect a ‘yes’. Success is not now or never but now or later